On Monday, a deranged gunman, 59-year-old Ronald Troyke, began what was about to be a deadly mass shooting. His first victim would be Arvada Police Officer Gordon Beesley, and, according to the reports that evening, his next victim would be liberty activist and friend to many members of the Free Thought Project, including this author, Johnny Hurley. But it didn’t quite unfold like the original reports claimed. Hurley was actually the hero who stopped the gunman and when other officers arrived on scene, one of them killed the hero.
Johnny Hurley was an outspoken activist for freedom and peace and he spent the last decade or more of his life seeking those goals for the world. His dedication to the preservation of life was so strong that it actually cost him his own life.
According to multiple witnesses, when the gunman, Troyke, began shooting, Hurley did not hesitate and ran straight into danger, eliminating the threat and saving countless lives.
“He did not hesitate; he didn’t stand there and think about it. He totally heard the gunfire, went to the door, saw the shooter and immediately ran in that direction,” witness Bill Troyanos said. “I just want to make sure his family knows how heroic he was.”
“He turned back and looked towards everybody at the restaurant and told us that he (Troyke) is coming, that he is coming back and that we should get inside,” another witness who asked not to be identified said. “I ran to the back of the store, closer to the alley, kind of ‘nooked’ myself in a corner just to feel safe.”
“Mr. Hurley shot him. I think I heard 6 shots from his gun, maybe 5,” Troyanos said.
To those who witnessed the shooting, Hurley was hailed as a hero. He had stopped the deadly threat and saved many lives in the process. But his time as a living hero was only brief. Moments after saving countless lives, Hurley would be killed by police who likely mistook him for the shooter.
Arvada Police Chief Link Strate said in a news conference Tuesday that Hurley was “a true hero who likely disrupted what could have been a larger loss of life,” but would not say it was police who shot him.
Though police refused to confirm it was them who shot Hurley, Denver7 Chief Investigator Tony Kovaleski reported that they confirmed through three informed, ranking sources — including two law enforcement sources — that it was indeed a cop who ended this hero’s life.
Video shows multiple women twerking next to and on top of an ambulance as paramedics tried to make their way through a crowd of Juneteenth partiers to tend to numerous shooting victims (video below).
According to the Oakland Police Department, some 5,000 gathered at Lake Merritt in Oakland, California, to celebrate the holiday on Saturday, when at least seven people were shot. Thus far, at least one has succumbed to their injuries.
The Daily Mail noted that it’s not clear if the shootings were connected to the Juneteenth celebration and that gang violence is suspected.
Violent incidents related to Juneteenth were reported in California, South Carolina, Michigan and Colorado, while Louisiana and Philadelphia recorded unrelated incidents of shooting. In all, at least seven people were killed and 21 injured in gun violence over the weekend.
The shooting in Oakland, California occurred around 6.30pm about a mile from Lake Merritt Amphitheater where hundreds had gathered throughout the day to commemorate 19 June, 1865, as the day when roughly 2,000 Union Army soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that enslaved African Americans were now free.- ADVERTISEMENT –
According to CBS News, at least six people were wounded and one person died in the shooting. Soon after, police arrested two men and recovered two firearms. They were arrested after the officials saw them running away from the scene after the shooting, reported the media outlets.
It was not the only incidence of violence recorded on the day relating to Juneteenth. In Colorado, at least one person was killed and four wounded in a mass shooting incident that happened in the parking lot of a strip mall located at 12455 E Mississippi Avenue. The gathering was “related to a Juneteenth celebration” said police in a statement, adding that at least 50 people called 911 to report an “active shooter in the shopping mall parking lot.”
The Austin American-Statesman on Saturday refused to release police’s description of an at-large black male mass shooting suspect because they said it “could be harmful in perpetuating stereotypes.”
“Police have only released a vague description of the suspected shooter as of Saturday morning,” the Statesman wrote in an editor’s note at the bottom of their article. “The Austin American-Statesman is not including the description as it is too vague at this time to be useful in identifying the shooter and such publication could be harmful in perpetuating stereotypes.”
The Austin Police Department stated that “it is unknown if there is one, or multiple suspects involved” but one suspect was “described as a black male, with dread locks, wearing a black shirt and a skinny build.”
Austin Police reported on Saturday evening that one suspect was arrested and they’re still looking for another but provided no further details.
On the fifth anniversary of the PULSE nightclub massacre in Orlando, numerous senators, politicians and activist groups commemorated that tragic event by propagating an absolute falsehood: namely, that the shooter, Omar Mateen, was motivated by anti-LGBT animus. The evidence is definitive and conclusive that this is false — Mateen, like so many others who committed similar acts of violence, was motivated by rage over President Obama’s bombing campaigns in Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, and chose PULSE at random without even knowing it was a gay club — yet this media-consecrated lie continues to fester.
On Saturday, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) falsely described the massacre as an “unspeakable act of hate toward the LGBTQ+ community.” Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) went even further, claiming “the LGBTQ+ community was targeted and killed—all because they dared to live their lives.” Her fellow Illinois Democrat, Sen. Dick Durbin, claimed forty-nine lives were lost due to “anti-LGBTQ hate” (he forgot the +). These false claims were compiled by the gay socialist activist Matt Thomas, who correctly objected: “the shooter literally picked PULSE at random from Google after security was too tight at the mall he went to first,” adding that while LGBT groups “are hopeless of course,” too much money and power is at stake for them to give up this self-serving fiction. But he asked, “Shouldn’t the bar be a little higher for senators?”
In 2016, federal officials detained the San Jose man accused of killing nine of his colleagues last week, finding him with books on terrorism and detailed writings about how much he hated the people at his work — but nobody bothered to alert local authorities, according to reports.
Santa Clara County District Attorney Jeff Rosen told USA Today Friday the intel might have helped prevent the mass attack by Samuel Cassidy Wednesday that resulted in the deaths of nine employees at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail hub.
“The DA’s office was not notified,” Rosen said, adding he wasn’t aware of a single agency in the area that was told this information. “I would like to have known this in 2016.”
Cassidy was stopped on a trip back from the Philippines in 2016 by US Customs and Border Protection.
A Department of Homeland Security memo from the stop, which was obtained by The Wall Street Journal, states that an officer found Cassidy had “books about terrorism and fear and manifestos … as well as a black memo book filled with lots of notes about how he hates the VTA.”